One function of birthdays is to allow an individual to reflect on his or her life...decisions, directions, milestones, mistakes, progress, lessons, ups and downs, fond and not so fond memories. While I don't place a tremendous amount of focus on my birthday and haven't for quite some years, still, every September, I find myself taking a bit of an inventory on life, relationships and family. This year, as I approach the middle of this fourth decade of being in this body, I cannot help but feel a rush of energy, excitement even, at the possibilities and flow I've been experiencing.
So, rather than waxing endlessly, searching for profound slogans and groundbreaking revelations, I'll cut right to what's on my mind, citing a few of the lessons and insights that have made or are making an impact on my life today. I write this for myself...your results may vary.
1: Every person or situation can be a great opportunity for me to learn and grow, even when it doesn't seem so at first.
2: It really is a journey and not a destination.
3: I love being at a point in my life where I get to become more aware. All changes and growth must first be preceded by awareness.
4: Friends and family are important and I am so grateful for the loving people I have in my life who provide me with a safety net.
5: Having compassion for those less fortunate...those without a safety net of friends and family, perhaps...is a gift.
6: I love my body, not for being perfect, but for being perfectly imperfect...and strong and healthy and powerful...and for giving my spirit and soul a place to live for all these years. Bodies change and I am not my body.
7: I am not my thoughts either.
8: I am learning to be a better listener. This is a good thing.
9: Debating or judging those who do not subscribe to the same values as I is like banging my head against the ground in hopes of curing my headache...ie...it's futile and counterproductive. (yes, I made that up...)
10: I'd rather be remembered for my acts of compassion and kindness than anything else...washboard abs, tons of moolah in the bank, or performing some amazing "perfect" yoga pose is awesome...but all pales compared to just being a nice person who treats others with respect and dignity and service.
11: Sometimes I act with the maturity of a 12 year old. I can live with that.
12: Being human and sometimes forgetting all the things above is okay. It means I am human. It means I am still learning. Even when I think I am not learning, I usually find out I am anyway.
13: Beating myself up for falling into behaviors that don't serve me doesn't serve me. And beating myself for beating myself is not necessary either.
My monkey mind is still wandering, so I will stop for now...besides, 13 is a lucky number! There's so much more, but sometimes, less is more (oooh, that could be #14) . But my school studies and yoga mat calls. It's a lovely overcast Sunday in Decatur, a hint of autumn in the air...complete with a sleeping cat, a couple of lazy mutts, a new friend/housemate who inspires me, and tons of possibilities for the moment.
PS: Mark your calendars for September 2015 for my big 5-0...there will be a yoga class as a gift to all my friends plus food, fun, and love donations to be accepted for the charity or organization of your choice. Reminders will be sent as the date approaches. Namaste